If you live above the 35th Parallel North, the above picture is probably making you pretty confused. That blue thing in the top half of the picture looks pleasant and perhaps sparks distant memories of warmth and happiness. But it all seems so long ago… Between the salt, ice, rain and potholes, riding at this time of year can be about as much fun as receiving a Gunson Eezibleed enema.
Now scan your eyes down. Low and behold there’s a splendid motorcycle to sling a leg over and ride that twisting French Riviera road on. That’s what life is about, eh?
Jérémy and Mark, proprietors of Nice based JeriKan motorcycles are the lucky pair who get to experience the above combination on a daily basis. Two of their R-Series builds have featured previously on the site; bikes with impressive and original detailing. This, build number ten, comes as JeriKan close out their successful third year of business. Built for good friend Fabien, who runs BlogMoto.fr, it was finished in October after a 3 month build. Now thoroughly run it, it’s here for your delectation and perusal.
Pushed into the workshop in a number of boxes containing a small note saying ‘Gearbox shot’, the CB400N was of 1980 vintage. This red flag was enough for Jerikan to do some exploratory surgery. Once up on the bench, it quickly turned into a complete engine overhaul, top to bottom: new crankshaft, bearings, chains, seals, the list goes on. JeriKan called on the services of Marc Montigiani and Philippe Carzo to ensure the engine was box fresh.
The carbs also received the same treatment, ready to breath in the fresh Riviera air. Although the engine has been gone through piece by piece, the guys decided not to paint it. Given a thorough clean, it’s shiny but still bears the evidence of it’s first 34 years.
Two gorgeous, turned aluminium venturis were fitted to steady the inward flow: the carbs were consequently tickled to get the machine running right. With the original headers now looking a little lost and weedy, a new system was bent up in raw stainless. The unfortunately shaped rear end was substantially reworked, looping out the sub-frame with a small kick and relocating the top shock mounts from their original, awkward position. Waistline and exhaust now trace parallelly along the length of the bike.
The swoopy-yet-boxy original tank was swapped out for a curvier 1973 CB450 item. That isn’t a groovy wood effect paint scheme you see on the tank either, it’s genuine teak veneer. Chosen for it’s hard wearing nature and beautiful caramel colour, it has been expertly blended into the gloss black paint by Jerikan’s go-to paint thrower, Ortolani. Featuring on the tank, headlight bracket and along the rear mudguard, it’s a stunning touch.
That rear guard also has the strip LED rear lighting nestled beneath it. Virtually undetectable when switched off, once lit, it peers with enough ferocity to satiate any interested Gendarmerie
One of the features you notice first with how the bike sits are those high and wide bars. Resting on aluminium risers, the 1″ units make threading wires through a whole lot easier. A key aspect of the look, all electrics on the bike have been tucked away out of sight, under the seat or in the headlight. At the electrical heart of the bike, beats a Motogadget M-Unit. Discrete and efficient it’s the go-to system for a simple electrical installation, with plenty of scope for additional future functionality. While inverted levers were planned, they were eventually sidestepped for spartan traditional items and LED bar end indicators.
The tuck and roll seat flows linearly along the rear of the bike, bar the little kick up at the front where is meets the tank. Made by NMB Design, it’s a lovely detail and a great solution to tank/seat interaction, which can sometimes appear abrupt with the Brat style. The stitched JK logo on the rear is the only embellishment, complimentary stitching picked purposely to let the veneer enhanced paint do the talking.
Far more than any previous builds, Jérémy & Mark pushed the finishes and detailing of the bike. Minimal use of cable ties, electrics hidden, and any that is visible is carefully wrapped in thermo retractable sleeving. It all adds up.
With the main body of the bike beefed up and carrying some nice curves, the rounded profile of the be-zig-zagged Firestones bulk up the lower half of the bike. Wheels were exchanged for an alternative set from Honda, now 16″ at the rear for that coastal cruiser vibe. No need for pin sharp handling when those views are all around you. Shrouds were fabricated for the fork uppers, adding substantial visual heft to the bike without too many physical kilos.
The rest of the bike has been completely renovated, paint and polish create a classic contrast. Originally, not a base the guys were enthralled to work on, thanks to that subframe, they soon came around to it’s charms; and it shows. The bike has a simple and distinguished feel, something Jerikan strive for in every build.
The final words go to Jérémy:
“Number Ten in all it’s glory shows off perfectly our standing point, to create motorcycles of quality with elegance, class and character whilst keeping a certain temperance and dignity, which is the essence of JeriKan Motorcycles
We wanted to create a unique machine. We wanted for this bike to be a pleasure to ride and possess; in the end we did exactly that !”
The jealousy inducing photos were taken by Nicolas Licari & Pierre Turtaut